Basil and mint pesto

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Basil and mint pesto
Christine Shaheen, Senior Health Educator for Fremont, Hayward and Union City, took the recent recipe for Greek salad (8/27) a step further to make a full meal out it for vegetarians. She omits the dressing and layers the ingredients on top of hummus, a Middle Eastern garbanzo bean (chickpea), garlic and spice dip that is low in saturated fat, high in protein and fiber and serves it garnished with mint along with pita bread chips. Check out "hummus" on Google for many tasty sounding variations and recipes. While you are foraging for fresh mint to use as above, bring home extra for this week's recipe. Used with fresh basil from the Happy Boy's Farm, it makes a wonderfully light and refreshing pesto that is superb on grilled halibut or other firm-fleshed fish.


  • 2/3 cup fresh basil, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, firmly packed
  • 3 Tbsp walnuts, chopped and toasted (in 350° oven for 10 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (optional)


In a food processor, pulse the mint, basil and walnuts briefly. Add olive oil and blend into a coarse purée. Add salt, pepper, lemon juice, lemon zest and blend. This pesto can be kept up to 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator. Serve over your favorite fish.